Video App Showdown: Vine vs. Instagram

Most of us know by now that Instagram is an app for taking and sharing photos among friends, but not all of us are aware of its video counterpart, Vine.  You’ve probably heard of Vine, but you likely aren’t using the app. Why? Vine is still very new, with just 13 million users compared to Instagram’s 130 million. And now that Instagram has integrated video into the app, you may never feel the need to start Vining (yes, this is now a verb, like “Googling” is to Google).

Although there will likely only be one winner in the end, the showdown between these two apps is definitely going to be something to watch. While these two apps engage in an all out development war, end users may be pleased to find tons of new and exciting features being updated and added to both of these apps on a regular basis. For now, let’s just observe the differences between the two apps…

Key Differences Between Vine and video for Instagram

  • Vine allows users to create and share 6-second videos, while Instagram offers 15.
  • Instagram has video filters that allow you to change the style of your video, like “Black and White” or “Sepia”, for example. Vine has no filters.
  • Vine integrates seamlessly with Twitter, while Instagram does not. If you run a quick search for “vine” on Twitter, you will see a ton of videos, on continuous loops, showing up right in your Twitter stream. This is due largely in part to the fact that Vine is Twitter-owned and Instagram is Facebook-owned.

These are just some of the technical differences between the two, but what about the differences that really count, like usability and convenience?


As a person with a video background who uses both apps regularly, I have to say, video recording on Vine is far superior to the video recording function on Instagram. For those of you who aren’t aware, on both Vine and Instagram, you tap your screen to record video. So if you want to capture video, frame-by-frame, you would perform a series of consecutive taps. If you want to record continuously, you would press and hold until the video is complete. Vine is much more precise, allowing you to capture video frame-by-frame (or at least very close to it). On Instagram, I find it much harder to be as precise because you are restricted to using a centralized record button, whereas on Vine you can tap anywhere within the video window. The Instagram app also continually reminds you to “press and hold to record” while you’re trying to tap the record button for a frame-by-frame effect. Vine definitely allows for a higher level of creativity and flexibility when it comes to actually recording your video. So under the usability column, Vine gets a big A+ for me.


As for convenience, Instagram definitely get’s an A in my book. I’m very quick to say that, but here’s why…with over 130 million users, all of my friends are already on Instagram while only a handful of my friends are using Vine. So obviously Instagram offers a larger audience, right off the bat. But the other obvious plus to Instagram in regard to convenience is the ability to capture and share photos and videos, all in one place. Clearly Vine lacks in this area. However, Vine was only made to capture 6 second videos and maybe for that reason, its simplicity is what makes it an overall winner and in a class of its own.

I think the battle still stands; these two apps obviously have their fair share of pros and cons for capturing and sharing video, but only time will tell who the true winner will be. I can’t really say at this point, but it will definitely be fun to watch these two apps battle it out.

What do you think? Vine or Instagram? Or maybe both? Visit us on Facebook and let us know your video sharing app of choice!

How Can Twitter Ads and Analytics Help Your Brand?

Tired of using third party tools to track analytics on your Twitter accounts? Wish your business could advertise on Twitter like you do on Facebook? You’re in luck! Earlier this month Twitter quietly rolled out Analytics tools to all users, joining Twitter Ads, which were made public in April. These services were previously available on an invitation only basis. These tools will prove to be incredibly useful when marketing your business on Twitter.

Twitter Ads

When Twitter Ads went public it opened a whole world of possibilities to small businesses. The Ads platform allows you to advertise on a local, national, or even global level. Finding the right audience has never been easier; Twitter will target specific interests ensuring the right people are seeing your ads. You also have the power to not only promote your brand’s account but specific tweets as well. Promoted Tweets expand your reach beyond your followers, allowing your message to be seen by those who have yet to follow you. Another benefit of Twitter Ads is paying only when there is engagement on your Promoted Account or Tweet, never for organic activity.

You want your message to be heard by all potential clients and Twitter Ads give you the ability to make that happen. Still not convinced? Read how technology giant Lenovo used Promoted Accounts and Tweets to gain 2,500 new followers during a single live event.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics is broken down into two categories: Timeline Activity and Followers. Using Timeline Activity you can track how many times your tweets were favorited and retweeted, as well how many people clicked on links embedded within your tweets. With the Followers option you can gain valuable insight into the demographic of your followers. Information such as location, gender, and interest is included here. This takes the guesswork out of trying to understand your audience and what they want to hear. Now you can see exactly who your customers are and appeal to their interests directly.

Using analytics is an absolute must for any social marketing strategy. The tool acts as a blue print, allowing you to see what works and more importantly – what doesn’t work. Analytics allow you to completely tailor your Twitter campaign to your target demographic, thus bringing in more leads.

Twitter Ads and Analytics will work hand in hand to help your business target and appeal to the proper audience, driving up leads. You are sure to find that these tools will quickly become a valuable asset to your marketing strategy.

Want to learn more about Twitter Ads and marketing your business on Twitter? Call the Internet marketing experts at 888.920.9778 or contact us here.

Taking the SEO Team to New Heights

When I’m sitting at my desk all day pouring over Google Analytics and nerding out over statistics, no one would Single Throw SEO Teamsuspect that most of the activities I participate in outside of my job as SEO Team Lead here at Single Throw require a waiver to be signed.

I’ve been rock climbing for a little over a year now, both indoors and outdoors. I am also terrified of heights. Doesn’t really make any sense. However, it’s a sport that I’ve grown to love, and requires every bit of mental endurance as it does physical endurance. It had taught me to stay strong, believe in my abilities, and always go for every challenge 150%. It’s also a lot of fun!

The Rock Climbing Team Building Field Trip

When I proposed a visit to a local climbing gym to the SEO Team as a team building experience, I only told them that it was really fun and left out all of the other parts that mention it’s challenging, can be mentally exhausting as much as physically exhausting and you’ll probably leave with some skin missing from your hands and fingers. Not to mention the soreness associated with using muscles you’ve probably never used in your life, no matter what type of other physical activity you participate in. Oh, and you’re hanging about 30 feet in the air by nothing but a rope with one person holding you up. Nope, only mentioned the fun part.

They were in!

I couldn’t wait to get them to the gym and up those walls. Being a certified belayer*, I had them all rent harnesses and tied them in to various top rope** routes, starting with some easy warm-up walls and then moving to more challenging routes.

They rocked it (no pun intended)! They not only willingly put their lives in my hands (quite literally), they all pushed for the more challenging routes and did an awesome job.

Everyone Made it Out Alive – and Had Fun!

Rock climbing was a great team building activity. The fact that my team members trusted me to get them safely up a 30 foot wall so that we could get back to being internet marketing nerds the next day at work really made me confident that they also trust me as a coworker. Not to mention, it’s always great to get to know your coworkers outside of a work setting and I truly believe that every team building field trip that we plan (and there will be more – stay tuned!) will only make our team stronger and more connected.

I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, right. I bet they just told you they liked it so that you wouldn’t feel bad.” My thoughts exactly!

I’ll let you hear their individual experiences from them directly:

Anthony Mennie

Talk about taking our work to new heights! Before our SEO Team trip, I had never had an opportunity to try rock climbing. I can’t thank Danielle enough for recommending such a great team building experience and a potential new workout option for me to explore.

I won’t lie, despite not being afraid of heights, I was still a little nervous the first time I began to climb. However, the fear was quickly replaced by a fun and exciting experience. While I trusted Danielle’s ability to keep me safe at all times, it can be very hard to throw away all of you survival instincts when it is time to let go and repel down the wall! Let go? What are you crazy?

All in all, the SEO Team at Single Throw had a blast with this new experience and really got to bond even further. It is great to see each other’s passions outside of the work environment and really strengthened the team as a whole. I had such a great time in fact, that I may explore becoming belay certified myself so I can begin to add some rock climbing into my current work out routines! Thanks again Danielle & I can’t wait for our next team trip.

Jay Mcleod

Ow ow oww oww ow ow oww! Am I sore!

Seriously though, I did enjoy the rock climbing experience. I was in the military years ago and did do a lot of fun things there, like rappelling off buildings and such, so this was old hat for the most part. I was completely confident in Danielle and her ability to keep me safe both climbing up and coming down the rock walls. I trust her completely in our day to day work environment, and this was no exception. The great thing was that you could see the look and confidence on her face like she knew instinctively what to do in all aspects of the trip. It was fun and I would go again.

The military experience stays with you when you leave. Whether you were in for 1 year or 24 years, you keep remembering the training and the experiences carries over to the real world no matter who you are. They instill in you that teamwork is key, and that no one man (or woman) can get the job done alone. You must work together. I know we are a strong team; both at the rock walls and in the office. I believe in our group, and I love being here each day. You cannot ask for anything better when you wake up in the morning. Now pass the ibuprofen, I still hurt.

John Strevens

When the idea of rock climbing had been proposed to me, I was curious to say the least. Climbing up a wall with your only support being your colleagues some three stories down wasn’t the part that stuck out in my mind. I was intrigued by the idea of how people I worked with would act when pushing their bodies to the limit. To put it simply: I was impressed and amazed.

As my co-workers and I were taking turns going up and down the various walls, the entire experience began to take shape not on a physical level, but in the true sense of teamwork. We were cheering each other on, sharing stories of various adventures, and getting a genuine enjoyment out of seeing each other push themselves and each other on. Our minds and bodies begged for more, and with each new height Danielle encouraged us to climb, we rose to the occasion.

If one’s true self comes out in times of adversity, then I can say with certainty that I am working with people who are motivated, clear minded, and welcome to all challenges. Team building isn’t manufactured in cubicles and behind computer screens, but in looking by your side and knowing that you have a team that will pick you up whenever you fall.

It’s funny what you realize when you’re dangling 30 feet in the air from a rope, and everyone below is telling you to climb higher.

Mike Falco

Working at Single Throw has been a great and unique opportunity that I am grateful to have. Working in the SEO Team has been a great working experience, helping gain invaluable experience and learning something new each and every day. One of the greatest aspects about Single Throw is the company culture and how we can all speak and relate to each other that is not specifically tailored to working.

The SEO Team’s rock climbing field trip is a true testament that is indicative of such a culture here and I am extremely grateful to Danielle for suggesting that our team go and at least give it a try. Everyone ended up having a great time and it was an activity that challenged me on a whole different, physical level. It was a great experience that proved that we do not always have to be behind desks or in meetings to socialize with each other.

I love being a part of Single Throw and the SEO Team; our confidence and trust in each other to get the job done, even if that means climbing a 30 foot wall without someone letting go, defines the success we are able to achieve.

*The person who holds the rope and takes up slack while the climber climbs

**Climbs in which a rope is already fixed to an anchor system at the top of the route

Google’s Full Arsenal for Penguin 2.0

Google Updates 2013Google Penguin 2.0 didn’t change the game; it modified it. With the latest installment sent out from the search engine, companies are finding themselves in limbo for search engine ranking. Some are seeing themselves as doing too much, while others see it as not doing enough. To understand the purpose of movement within Google, one must examine their surroundings.

Google Penguin 2.0 is stressing, above all else, quality – quality content, quality links, quality information that users have the ability to obtain and use. The point of its creation was to take a step forward in eliminating the spammers of cyberspace, and it is doing that by modifying its defense. Google’s own offerings such as Google Places and Google Plus now weigh higher than ever before, and their use is critical to one’s success.

Presenting Yourself

With the latest Penguin update, Google has opened up numerous doors for these businesses to become transparent. Setting up and validating a Google Plus or Google Places account assures the search engine that the business is as listed, and thus, can have information trusted from it. Now, Google Places puts you on Google Maps and Google Plus allows your audience to engage with new content. All of this occurs in a standard search, and your listing will feature links to all of these other locations.

Searches for local businesses will now center on more than just your location. They will pull and present information from all accounts you have through Google: reviews, check-ins, favorites, likes, and so on. The more that Google can grab to provide to the user searching, the more it will show. Thus, the latest update provides more value to a given search and less spam clutter.

Protecting the Core

All of this is easy to achieve, but the major focal point of Penguin 2.0 is to provide more quality content. Through the various services, you can expand your reach infinitely. If you have too narrow of a focus and attempt to sneak by, however, Google can penalize you instantly and flag you for spamming. Overnight, you can disappear from Google local listings, become overlooked in Google Places, and receive no interaction on Google Plus. Now, the information presented becomes weak and limited, and the user can move on to a more trusted resource.

One bad post does not mean the end, but Google’s omnipotence does mean that a clear Internet marketing strategy must be utilized. The right word at the right time rings true now more than ever.

Google Penguin 2.0 is the search engine’s latest attempt to minimize spam and maximize information. To achieve this, businesses must utilize Google services to get information to their audiences. The more engagement a company has through Google, the more Google can trust them. Just as in life, when you do the right thing, people notice, and in modern business, Google is the biggest audience that is always watching.

Learn how you can use Google’s services to enhance your search visibility and keep your business a trusted source by contacting an Internet marketing consultant or calling us at 888.920.9778.

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On the Horizon: Social Video

Question- How do you make your brand stand out in today’s social media-based world, when a viewer’s attention span is becoming seemingly shorter and shorter? The answer is Vine.

Vine is an important tool for social marketing companies

This six-month-old app, launched by the creators of Twitter, has reinvented the way brands promote their products and services with users. While Twitter requires companies to deliver a message in 140 characters or less, Vine takes the idea of shortened messages to a new level. This app allows users to film different images or actions and automatically stream the content together into a 6-second, looping video. These videos can be searched and shared using the same hashtags made popular by Twitter. Vine has recently made it possible for users to embed Vines on websites, allowing brands to share a message across multiple platforms.

Vine has become more than just an app for people to pretend that they’re Harry Potter . Many companies have used Vine to stay on top of their social media game. But with power comes great responsibility, before a brand can evoke an emotion out of a potential customer to buy their product, that brand must first have the creativity and ingenuity to display their message in six seconds.

Companies like Lowes use Vine to show easy DIY projects around the house, while major brands such as Puma, Gilette, and XBOX have used Vines to showcase upcoming sales, new products, and behind the scenes footage. My favorite use of Vine for businesses has been the “thank you” vine. Used by charity organization, RED, this type of Vine allows a brand to send out a message to their supporters that’s more sentimental than the stereotypical “thank you” letter.

Even if you don’t have the means to make a captivating Vine yourself, using Vines that are relevant to your audience is a technique that could prove extremely successful. Take this Audi test drive for example; imagine visiting an Audi dealer’s website and seeing this Vine of two young men enjoying the beautiful weather in their gorgeous new Audi convertible. Of course you want to have the same enjoyable experience! Mission completed- the dealership has now evoked the “have to have it” emotion and has used a Vine to generate a potential lead for their business, all through the powers of social media.

If you’re still unsure if Vine can be helpful for your brand, be sure to check out these other ways in which companies use Vine to promote their business:

  • Create ads that captivate a user in 6 seconds
  • Combine multiple images and audio clips (something a photo obviously cannot do) to share the latest news or upcoming events
  • Engage emotions and memorable experiences in a clean, condensed, and creative format
  • Deliver a memorable text-based message
  • Showcase your brands sense of humor, style, and overall company culture

So now that you know what Vine is, one last question remains.  If a photo is worth a thousand words, how much does that make a Vine worth?